[Foundation-l] WikIdea: A new proposal

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 23:41:17 UTC 2007

While it sounds like a good project, I don't think it's is something
the Wikimedia Foundation would run. The WMF aims to provide
information to the public, which isn't really what your project is
about. Wikia (www.wikia.com) might be interested, they have a wider

On 19/06/07, Blake West <westb at wharton.upenn.edu> wrote:
>         Hello, my name is Blake, I am a Penn (Wharton) student.
>            I'm envisioning a wiki-project where people can go to post the
> problems or inefficiencies that they see in their work or life. The purpose
> would be to create a place where those with the know-how and dedication to
> invent and solve problems (like engineering students or weekend inventors)
> can find the issues that need to be addressed.
>            Like the idea that "necessity is the mother of all invention", or
> that innovation happens when a problem is at hand, this wiki-project would
> give people that specific problem to focus their energies on.  Please
> contact me (bwest87 at gmail.com) if you would like to help me work out the
> detials and get this started, or to help me work through the inevitable
> problems that will be faced in making this idea a reality. I've put two
> examples below that originally stirred me to think of this problem.
>           Thank you - Blake
>        As some quick examples of what I'm talking about; two students at
> Penn recently devised a system to capture weather probes that usually get
> lost by the National Weather Service. The N.W.S. sends out thousands of
> probes per year to gather data, but they lose 80% of them. Each one cots
> over $100, and with the help of these Penn students, the N.W.S. will save
> hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Yet, how many people even knew
> that this problem existed? Perhaps it could have been solved sooner, if more
> people knew about it.
>        A different example. I was recently introduced to a business that
> sells bedding for flowers, primarily to commerical growers. Typical bedding
> is made of coconuts shavings that sucks up water and the plants then take
> water from the coconut shavings. The founder of this business however, said,
> "hey, why don't we put a small bio-degradable sheet of plastic inbetween the
> coconut shavings to hold more water?" Once the original water runs out, the
> coconuts will suck up water from the plastic bed and the plants will have
> more water. This means that planters have to water their plants half as
> much, which means huge savings in time and money.
>       Again, however, so few people even knew of this problem, which is
> probably why it took this long to find a better way to do it. There are
> people with time on their hands who would love to solve issues for the world
> (and potentially make money from them), but they just don't know where to
> start. This is where we start. Right here, with this wiki-project. Please
> contact me if you're interested.
> --
> Blake West
> Wharton, University of Pennsylvania '09
> bwest87 at gmail.com
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